Beating the ‘sophomore slump’ curse of a second album is a scrutiny many bands face after a critically acknowledged debut release. However, following on from Casey’s 2016 effort ‘Love Is Not Enough’, the awaited, revealing new album ‘Where I Go When I Am Sleeping’ is now up to attempt to build a new height for the melodic-hardcore crossover.
Undoubtedly, Casey have put out a beautiful creation. The flow of the album sticks through the 12-track creation, sweeping through the emotively inclined lyrical stories as told by lead vocalist Tom Weaver. ‘Wavering’ takes the bands more energetic hardcore elements tinged with weaving moments of old-school emo roots influenced by the likes of Touché Amore and La Dispute. Moreover, the wavering hardcore additions are scattered within the record, with raw cleans fueling over half of the albums vocals. ‘Phosphenes’ and ‘Fluorescents’, two of the bands main singles, bringing a crossover of melodic-hardcore packed with a softer emo genre root. As the singles hold much of the albums heavier aspects, this leaves the hidden astonishingly ambient gems left to be discovered.
‘Where I Go When I Am Sleeping’s’ ethereal components within the truthful storytelling opener ‘Making Weight’ almost brings a prologue to the overall album. The flowing lyrical vulnerability describes the story of Weaver’s mother finding him passed out in the bathroom from his, at the time, un-diagnosed colitis. The simplistic track leaves room for the depth of the track to be realised, and ends with a drawn out note, almost as a link to the next story of ‘Wavering’.
Yet, one thing that must be mentioned in the creation of this album is the intensely subversive backing. Every pattern from the softly added drums to the atmospheric, melancholic laden guitar riffs courtesy of Liam Torrance and Toby Evans that line each individual track. Too often bands use their instruments to add a filling, some extra seconds to an already over saturated track, whereas Casey use theirs to tell a story. Instrumental bridges between tracks can be risky, but the links of ‘&’ and ‘Morphine’ intensify an already intense narrative. It’s sections like this that prove the powerful talent Casey have by not even using lyrics to portray a feeling or emotion. Title track ‘Where I Go Where I Am Sleeping’ falls onto the longer side of the albums instrumentals, yet cleverly brings an enhanced line of beautifully dynamic guitars with a subtle build-up of drive and emotion through Max Nicolai’s drum additions. Even the addition of Adam Smith’s basslines creates a density that darker tracks such as ‘The Funeral’ and ‘Flowers By The Bed’ would have possibly fallen flat without.
Raw vulnerability through releasing deeply personal emotions is a risk many bands choose to avoid. Yet, one thing Weaver has learned is ‘the best way to not stress about it all is to be open and honest’ and this is a phrase that is truthful for each and every aspect of the album. To find an album with such intense emotion in every singular point is hard, and Casey have put out a remarkable effort. Casey’s second release is far from a drag, and if their furthering career is anything to be based off this album, they have a great future ahead of them.